Dec 2, 2015

Welcoming Kids Helps All Players

From the co-owners of Axion Now, in their own words.

Dec 2, 2015

Welcoming Kids Helps All Players

From the co-owners of Axion Now, in their own words.

Though we cater to all types of players, younger players and their families are a very important part of our community and business at Axion Now. With over 300 young players, we have one of the largest Magic clubs in Europe.

This has had a tremendously positive impact on our business! Parents recognize our efforts and support our venture by purchasing Magic products from us.

Young players encourage a positive & vibrant atmosphere at our more casual events. Seasoned players who visit us for the first time comment what a welcoming and friendly place we have and what great facilities, and come back as a result.

Our Programs for Young Players

The youngest of our players (8 to 11 years old) are excitable, loud, and have shorter attention spans. They also have less time available to play.

This is why we introduced "Mini Magic," a weekly event just for this age group. Their matches are "best of one" and last fifteen minutes, with three additional turns and a free mulligan.

We always make sure we have mentors (older kids) and parents to "judge" and assist in the tournament. For non-playing parents, we set aside a clean, comfortable area to sit, chat, and enjoy a coffee (or tea—we're in England after all!)

For older children, aged 11 to 16, we run weekly tournaments where everyone wins a prize. We also network with teachers, schools, and youth groups to ensure external endorsement.

An exciting milestone in our Magic Calendar is our quarterly "Tolarian Academy Award." This is run as a Team Trio Sealed, where all team members come from the same school. The school with the highest points total wins the Award—as well as bragging rights for the next three months!

How Young Players Enhanced Our Business

Working with young players and families calls for different ways to promote our business.

It has meant enhancements in our services and facilities, which benefit all our customers:

  • We work hard to offer a clean and welcoming environment where parents can feel their child is safe. We see parents and nonplaying siblings as part of the community. We encourage families to play together in events, like at our Two-Headed Giant release weekend.
  • Young players need their parents to provide rides, so we're clear about when an event begins and ends.
  • We encourage mentoring of new players, introducing them to more experienced players.
  • We manage publicity carefully, so that our various types of players can easily identify the best event for them.
  • We ensure that anybody who helps out, has the same welcoming and open-minded attitude as we do. We have a clear, detailed "Code of Conduct" which states explicitly the Dos and Don'ts, and the possible sanctions if not respected. We found that the most useful deterrent for 'Unsporting Conduct' is the dreaded: "Points deducted from your school!"

Competitive players have a completely different play and spending pattern; our adult casual players are different again.

With care and attention, the three markets live very comfortably together and enjoy meeting together at Prereleases, Launch Weekends, and our Christmas Extravaganza.

by François Hauchard and Elizabeth Kolb Barnetson

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